Whistleblower claims Drilon wants to silence her

Posted at 05/05/2014 12:10 PM

MANILA – Whistleblower Sandra Cam suspects Senate President Franklin Drilon is out to silence her over her copy of a list of people supposedly involved in the pork barrel scam.

Cam said a certain Alex Almario, whom she described as an agrarian reform assistant secretary with close ties to Drilon, has been trying to set up a meeting with her.

''Ang palagi niyang rason eh bilang kababayan, mangungumusta. Pero hindi ko po iyon binuy. Ang nasa isip ko, two things iyan, either sumisipsip siya o may utos sa kanya na pakiusapan ako, kasi alam niyo naman na walang pwedeng puimigil ng salita ko,'' Cam told dzMM.

Cam earlier said she got hold of a copy of a supposed list of people involved in the pork barrel scam, which saw billions in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allegedly plundered by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, lawmakers and bureaucrats.

She said she received the list from an unimpeachable source, who had told her that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima would meet with Napoles to facilitate the latter's tell-all testimony.

A complete list of the people involved in the racket was supposedly included in Napoles' sworn statement submitted to the Department of Justice.

Cam, however, said she does not know whether the list given to her came from Napoles.

''Itong listahan na ibinigay sa akin, wala itong dokumento, but this is handwritten na ibinigay sa akin Saturday before Holy Week ng isang tao na hindi namin pwedeng kwestyunin ang kredibilidad,'' she said.

''It doesn’t follow na ito ay galing kay Napoles. I don't know her. I don't know her penmanship. Inaantay namin na maglutang si de Lima, na magsabi siya sa presscon niya, para matignan namin baka tama ang listahan na inilabas o baka may tinanggal siya."

A Daily Tribune newspaper report earlier quoted a source as saying that Drilon was among the lawmakers who benefited from the PDAF scam. Drilon denied the allegations, saying he had coursed his pork barrel funds only to the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Other administration allies were also included in the alleged list.

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson also revealed that he received Napoles' unsigned and incomplete affidavit, which also includes a list.

The list, however, was not complete, Lacson admitted. The Napoles camp confirmed giving the draft affidavit to Lacson, who had refused to accept his pork barrel allocations as a senator.

Cam's group, the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines, is eyeing the help of the Supreme Court in order to have de Lima release the copy of Napoles' list.

Cam said her group is preparing to file a petition for mandamus before the SC to order de Lima to make the list public.

De Lima has belittled Cam's claim, saying the latter had no authority and standing on the issue.

Napoles' lawyer, Bruce Rivera, questioned the veracity of the list that came out in the media, saying there is an effort to destroy the credibility of his client and muddle the issue.